Labor

Description/Abstract of your Event: 
The birth rate is plunging in the U.S.: It's a spontaneous Birth Strike! In other countries, panic over low birth rates has led governments to underwrite childbearing and childrearing with generous universal programs, but in the U.S., women have not yet realized the potential of our bargaining position. When we do, it will lead to new strategies for improving the difficult working conditions U.S. parents now face when raising children. Join Jenny Brown for a discussion of her new book, Birth Strike: The Hidden Fight over Women’s Work (PM Press, 2019).
Description/Abstract of your Event: 
Escalating fascist and racist violence grows out of the bipartisan capitalist offensive against immigrants: not only Trump’s border wall with Mexico and anti-Muslim ban, but Obama’s record deportations and Democrats’ policy of border militarization. Key to fighting anti-immigrant hysteria is mobilizing the power of the multiethnic working class. The Internationalist Group calls for workers action to stop deportations and crush the fascists. In the Pacific Northwest, Class Struggle Workers – Portland sparked union motions to mobilize against racist/fascist provocations, and initiated Portland Labor Against the Fascists that brought out some 300 unionists and supporters in 2017. It calls to form workers defense guards to defeat the fascist threat. In the 2016 elections Painters Local 10 called to break with all bosses’ parties, and for a class-struggle workers party. In Los Angeles, transit workers have marched with Teamsters defending Salvadoran immigrants. In New York, Trabajadores Internacionales Clasistas has joined in unionizing immigrant workers, demanding full citizenship rights for all immigrants.
Location: 
NYC
Description/Abstract of your Event: 
Kim Moody's Rank-and-File Strategy (RFS) has received new attention in the pages of Jacobin in the last year. Moody weighed in two decades after writing his original article, followed by articles from Barry Eidlin and Max Elbaum. Here, the three panelists will examine what is missing both from Moody's bottom-up organizing model and those of his Jacobin respondents. Marc Kagan will speak on the importance of fighting for workplace control, a crucial feature of previous rounds of working class unrest, which has largely disappeared from discussions about mobilizing workers. After this deeper dive onto the shop floor, the next two speakers argue for a more expansive strategy. Lynne Turner will consider how to conjoin RFS with the "bargaining for the common good" approach utilized in recent teacher strikes, to build more power and encourage workers to think beyond the workplace and toward social transformation. Luke Elliott-Negri will argue that the rank and file approach to union politics is much more a tactic of socialist strategy than it is socialist strategy itself, and needs to be combined with electoral work.
Description/Abstract of your Event: 
My Mis-Education in 3 Graphics documents the filmmaker’s darkly humorous journey through the mind-boggling constructs of mainstream economics. Critics offer some clear-sighted alternatives to the dominating economists' beliefs and models. The film is a visually fun satire deconstructing the current orthodox version of "the dismal science". Filmed introductory economics course lectures and interviews with economists reveal the enormous rift between the economic textbook models and the filmmaker’s and other critics’ understandings of economic reality. The first part of the film explores how mainstream economics (mis)represents markets, the next is a presentation of their befuddling model of the firm, and the final section, on macroeconomics, points to some of the major issues hidden by the models: financial debt’s contribution to inequality, and the unaccounted for destruction of the natural world. Mainstream economists such as N.Gregory Mankiw, George Borts, Timothy Taylor, and Lawrence Summers are critiqued by Herman Daly, Michael Hudson, Randall Wray, Richard McIntyre, Richard and Max Wolff, Robert Pollin, Nancy Holmstrom, Richard Smith, Costas Panayotakis, Doug Henwood, John Foster, Susan Feiner, and Stephen Marglin.
Location: 
NYC
Description/Abstract of your Event: 
Race, Class, Gender, and the University: Struggles within and beyond the Campus Walls The university under capitalism is a site of political unevenness and contradiction. While academia promotes an image of impartiality and liberality in terms of viewpoints, scholarship, and diversity, those who don’t adhere to the restricted parameters of institutionalized “neutrality” are often marginalized, slandered, and sometimes dismissed. Indeed, as Steven Salaita argues, “disinterest and objectivity” are more often aligned with ruling powers both within and outside the walls of the academy. While identitarian positioning is often encouraged, solidarity that challenges systems of racial and gendered oppression or that exposes the symbiotic relationships between academic knowledge-production and imperialism are systematically repressed. At this same time, the university--perhaps especially our austerity-prone public universities, which often serve 'majority minority' and working-class students-- still can provide fertile ground for radical thinking and new social connections with the potential to resist hegemonic capitalist regimes of 'divide and rule.' Accordingly, this panel seeks to discuss the intersections of race, class, and gender struggles that challenge the status-quo politics within the university, or that use the base of the university to challenge capitalism and imperialism beyond the campus walls. While we intend to address some of the limits of critique offered by institutionalized identity politics, primarily this panel will offer first-hand accounts and theorization of alternative models for radical social justice organizing within the university space, with a view towards building resistance beyond the confines of campus-oriented politics.
Description/Abstract of your Event: 
When the yellow vests movement began in November 2018 following the Macron government’s decision to raise the tax on diesel, it was characterized by many, including those on the far left, as being a movement of the extreme right - anti-immigrant and anti-ecological. It was a movement that existed outside the major urban centers. It was also outside the unions and political parties that would usually be associated with any significant mobilization. But far from being a minority movement, it is made up of a significant portion of the French population: the poorer sections of the working class, retirees and women. The movement gained widespread support as it demonstrated on the exclusive Champs de Elysees in Paris and battled the police for the right to put forward its grievances. It was made up of hundreds of local “headquarters” with people meeting on the “roundabouts.” Recently General Assemblies, grouping members or representatives into broader regional bodies have been formed to discuss the direction of their movement. This panel will discuss the political developments within this movement and how the extreme left can engage this new movement that has the possibility to challenge the mechanisms of power.
Description/Abstract of your Event: 
A farmworker leader from the Coalition of Immokalee Workers (CIW) will share the history of the organization, conditions faced by farmworkers in the U.S. agricultural industry — including abuses such as sexual harassment and forced labor — and the transformative changes now in effect in the U.S. tomato industry as a result of the award-winning Fair Food Program in setting new farm labor standards, implementing fair wages, and eliminating abuses through its groundbreaking model of Worker Driven Social Responsibility. The workshop will also focus on the models through which the CIW has built power-- from the early days of general strikes and labor stoppages in the tomato fields of Southwest Florida, to the Campaign for Fair Food with successful boycotts of powerful multinational corporations, and then to the implementation of new worker directed standards in the agricultural industry. The workshop will be facilitated in both Spanish and English. There will be a question and answer session in which attendees can engage with farmworker leaders on their experiences as farmworkers, the movement for Fair Food and how they can be involved in the movement for farmworker justice.
Location: 
NYC
Description/Abstract of your Event: 
This year, in contrast to the 2018 “red state” teacher revolt, strikes in Los Angeles and Oakland confronted Democratic Party bosses and rulers at every level. The strikes were militant and massive, with broad working-class community support. But the union bureaucracies, chained to the Democrats, rammed through settlements that betrayed the struggle to stop the spread of charter schools, the drive to privatize and sharply reduce class size. Class Struggle Education Workers campaigned to mobilize workers’ power – shut down the ports! – to win the strikes. In New York, an ongoing fight against adjunct poverty at CUNY poses broader issues of linking the fight to defend public education to class struggle in the center of finance capital. The key: ousting the pro-capitalist bureaucrats, breaking with the Democrats and forging a class struggle leadership. As Leon Trotsky wrote, “The independence of trade unions in the class sense, in their relations to the bourgeois state, can, in the present conditions, be assured only by a completely revolutionary leadership.”
Location: 
NYC
Description/Abstract of your Event: 
Throughout recorded history, sex workers have not only existed, but have fought for their rights - the right to pursue their livelihood without harassment, the right not to be stigmatized, and the right to be taken seriously as agents of progressive change. From the Paris Commune of 1871, when anarchist Louise Michel organized armed brigades of sex workers to fight alongside their fellow Communards against the invading Prussian army, until today, organized sex workers have not avoided militancy. Speakers will address the ripe opportunites that have emerged recently to enact decriminalization of sex work both in New York and elsewhere.
Description/Abstract of your Event: 
2018 is the 50th Anniversary of 1968–the most decisive revolutionary year in during the Great Revolution of the Two Decades of the Sixties—1955-1975. In that year the Vietnamese National Liberation Front carried out a decisive political victory in its war against the U.S., Dr. Martin Luther King was assassinated, urban rebellions rocked the U.S., president Lyndon Johnson refused to run for re-election under great national protests, students at Columbia University and the Paris student/worker rebellions shaped history. The Movement agreed the problem was “The System”, the Answer was “The Revolution” and the vehicle was “The Movement.” Today, U.S. society is disintegrating morally, economically, politically, ecologically, and spiritually. Black Lives Matter, The Dreamers, the Bernie/Warren Democrats, the Labor/Community Strategy Center and many other organizations are doing important work to fight the system but there is a need for more discussion about what is our strategy. Eric Mann will discuss “A Black/Latino/Third World United Front against the U.S. Imperialist White Settler State” as the strategy the Strategy Center is trying to carry out in its work in South L.A., Los Angeles, and the U.S. to shape grassroots organizing and movement building.